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Strategies for increasing agricultural productivity in the 21st century


H. P. M. Gunasena

Council for Agricultural Research Policy, 114/9, Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 7, LK
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Sri Lankan agricultural sector directly supports 40% of the population and over 70% are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. The agricultural GDP has declined from 25% to 19% in the last decade, while the industrial and manufacturing sectors are contributing over 22% due to increased private sector investment. The natural resource base is also rapidly declining due to population explosion and urbani7.8tion. Further demands on the resource base are evident due to trade liberalization and investments by the industrial sectors. Future challenges to agriculture are immense and those challenges have to be faced if the future food demand is to be satisfied. The constraints are many, of which the major issues are: declining agricultural land and agricultural population, land degradation and declining per capita agricultural land, all of which pose a major threat to future productivity. Rising population, shrinking agricultural land, increasing demand on the water resources from the industrial and urban sectors further aggravate the situation. It is more and more clear that the traditional systems of agricultural production will not be able to cope up with the emerging demand for food supplies and diverse consumption patterns. The agricultural production bas shifted from the earlier concept of increase in yield to the utili7.8ble production that links the producers to the consumer. It has become necessary to develop value added secondary products as demanded by the consumer. In this context, the strategy for agricultural production has to be revisited and changes made to meet the competitive demands of the market This requires the development of appropriate policies and strategies and institutional capability in order to implement such a plan effectively.

How to Cite: Gunasena, H.P.M., 2003. Strategies for increasing agricultural productivity in the 21st century. Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension, 6, pp.22–28. DOI:
Published on 30 Dec 2003.
Peer Reviewed


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